Atrial Fibrillation Blog

Bigger, Better and More Important than Ever: Register Now for the Fifth Annual Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium

Now in its fifth year, the Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium has firmly established its reputation as the world’s best and most comprehensive education meeting focused exclusively on atrial fibrillation (AF). The upcoming 2012 symposium promises to be even bigger and better than ever, as it will highlight the latest research and exciting new advances being made in the diagnosis, treatment and management of AF.

Electrophysiologists and other physicians can register now for the symposium, which will take place February 24-25, 2012 at the Park City Marriott in Park City, Utah. Registration also is open to residents/students and nurses.

New Developments in Image Processing Software: An Interview with Joshua Cates, PhD

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But high quality, meaningful images are worth considerably more to both researchers and electrophysiologists involved in the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF).

European Society of Cardiology Meeting Reports Advances in Interventional MRI for AF Treatment

Over the past decade, the most notable change in everyday practice in the management of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been the use of 3D imaging and energy sources to facilitate catheter ablations. Yet despite considerable scientific and economic investments, outcomes for AF ablation procedures have not markedly improved. This can be attributed to two factors: 1) the lack of a standard protocol for selecting an appropriate ablation candidate, and 2) the inability to monitor lesion formation in real time to ensure that appropriate ablation therapy was delivered during the procedure.

Share the Knowledge: EPs Play an Important Role in Educating Patients

Since September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, this month’s blog post comes from our guest bloggers, Jessiciah Windfelder, LeeAnn Spencer and Paulina Gudgell, advance practice nurses who help increase patients' awareness every day.

As practicing electrophysiologists, many of us diagnose and treat hundreds of atrial fibrillation (AF) patients each year. We understand the physiology of the disease, but how much do we really know about its impact on patients’ experiences? What else can we be doing to improve their quality of life?

Study Shows Left Atrial Fibrosis May Be a Significant Predictor for Pacemaker Implantation

An observational study just published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology provides evidence that significant atrial fibrosis is associated with clinically significant sinus node dysfunction (SND) requiring pacemaker implantation. Moreover, the results indicate that fibrosis related to atrial fibrillation (AF) affects the left atrium more than the right, which is consistent with the focus of AF research and therapeutic intervention.

Advances in MRI Technology and Techniques: An Interview with Eugene Kholmovski, PhD

Understanding how we can apply technology to improve clinical practices is the wellspring for innovation. As scientists from a wide range of disciplines are continually pushing the limits of what’s possible, researchers and clinicians must work with them to develop new techniques to take advantage of these capabilities.

This kind of interdisciplinary collaboration is a cornerstone of the University of Utah’s Comprehensive Arrhythmia Research & Management Center (CARMA), whose mission is to provide worldwide pioneering leadership in advancing clinical treatments and research for cardiac arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation (AF). To gain insights into how technology, specifically the use of advanced MRI, is changing clinical treatment of AF, we spoke to Eugene Kholmovski, PhD, an Assistant Professor at the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research.

How long have you been working with CARMA and what is your primary role?

Multi-Center DECAAF Study – Progress and Prospects

The University of Utah’s DE-MRI Determinant of Successful Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation (DECAAF) study, a multi-center clinical trial spanning across three continents, has been successfully recruiting patients over the past year.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, our research at the University of Utah has shown significant and promising results in applying late gadolinium enhanced (delayed enhancement) cardiac MRI (DE-MRI) technology for non-invasive scar assessment in the left atrium (LA). DECAAF will expand our experience with DE-MRI image acquisition and processing in the management of atrial fibrillation (AF) and has three specific aims:

• Acquire DE-MRI scans of the left atrium in AF patients and quantify the extent of structural remodeling or fibrosis.

Afib Survivor: Seeing the Disease from the Eyes of the Patient

In last month’s blog, I wrote about how the Heart Rhythm Society’s 32nd Annual Scientific Sessions will focus on advancements in technology. While such developments are of great interest to us as clinicians and scientists, it’s also good to keep in mind that they are only the means to a more important end – a better quality of life for people with atrial fibrillation or other heart rhythm disorders.

Heart Rhythm 2011: Focus on Technology Will Feature Latest Research on DE-MRI as a Pre-Ablation Investigative Tool

The Heart Rhythm Society’s 32nd Annual Scientific Sessions (May 4-7) in San Francisco is a must-attend event for anyone involved with cardiac arrhythmias. The conference will bring together leading experts from around the globe to highlight the latest research, technologies, therapies and approaches to patient care in our field, and will include more than 250 sessions, 900 faculty and 130 exhibitors.

Given Heart Rhythm 2011’s proximity to Silicon Valley, it’s fitting that the focus of this year’s sessions will be technology. As Anne M. Gillis, MD, FHRS, the Chair of Scientific Sessions Program Committee, notes in her welcome letter, “advancements in the area of technology are essential to the overall evolution of investigation and treatment for patients.”

Highlights from the Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium

Now in its fourth year, the Western Atrial Fibrillation Symposium hosted over 350 cardiologists, physicians and others at this world-class conference demonstrating the latest research and clinical developments in diagnosing, treating and managing AF. It is particularly exciting to see how close we are to introducing some of these game-changing advances, including real-time MRI catheter guidance, into clinical practice.

The Symposium, which was sponsored by the University of Utah School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology and co-sponsored by The Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), had many fantastic presentations from the world’s leading experts. For example, Dr. David Wilber from Loyola University provided conference attendees with the latest updates on the large AF clinical studies in progress, including CASTLE-AF and DECAAF, as well as an overview of recently completed randomized trials. Other highlights from the symposium’s distinguished international faculty included: